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Author Topic: iMac As Display / Calibration  (Read 3032 times)

brianleighty

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iMac As Display / Calibration
« on: September 15, 2012, 10:46:03 AM »
So I'm thinking of getting the next iMac when it comes out. I've seen some post on here of people that use it for a monitor. I guess a few questions.

#1 - I'm currently using an eMachine monitor that I got for like $90 running on a Hackintosh I built. Overall everything works pretty well for what it is but I do realize I need something better 1 - for speed and 2 - for more calibrated coloring. The iMac for around $1200 seems like the best route to go. It'll be 3-4 times faster than my current system and I would assume the display will be much better. The alternative would be to build either a regular windows computer or another hackintosh and buy a nice external monitor. I wouldn't want to spend quite as much if I went this route as it's more work on my part and it has its faults (system not monitor). All that to say, would the iMac be equal to or better than what I could get otherwise for say $900-$1000?

#2 - If I do go with an iMac, I've read that the display panels are high quality but the profile they're setup with is not accurate so I will need to calibrate the display. I have two options here. Either 1 - Buy a calibrator in the $150 to $200 range or 2 - rent the colormunki from lensrentals. I guess this comes down to, can I get something in the $150 to $200 price range that will get me pretty close color wise or do I need something higher end like the colormunki. If I did rent the colormunki, how often do I need to calibrate my monitor? Would once a year be enough or how often are we talking? I like that the colormunki can also calibrate printers as well since I have a Canon iP4920 that tends to not match what I see on the screen. Thanks for your input.
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iMac As Display / Calibration
« on: September 15, 2012, 10:46:03 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 11:58:09 AM »
So I'm thinking of getting the next iMac when it comes out. I've seen some post on here of people that use it for a monitor. I guess a few questions.

#1 - I'm currently using an eMachine monitor that I got for like $90 running on a Hackintosh I built. Overall everything works pretty well for what it is but I do realize I need something better 1 - for speed and 2 - for more calibrated coloring. The iMac for around $1200 seems like the best route to go. It'll be 3-4 times faster than my current system and I would assume the display will be much better. The alternative would be to build either a regular windows computer or another hackintosh and buy a nice external monitor. I wouldn't want to spend quite as much if I went this route as it's more work on my part and it has its faults (system not monitor). All that to say, would the iMac be equal to or better than what I could get otherwise for say $900-$1000?

#2 - If I do go with an iMac, I've read that the display panels are high quality but the profile they're setup with is not accurate so I will need to calibrate the display. I have two options here. Either 1 - Buy a calibrator in the $150 to $200 range or 2 - rent the colormunki from lensrentals. I guess this comes down to, can I get something in the $150 to $200 price range that will get me pretty close color wise or do I need something higher end like the colormunki. If I did rent the colormunki, how often do I need to calibrate my monitor? Would once a year be enough or how often are we talking? I like that the colormunki can also calibrate printers as well since I have a Canon iP4920 that tends to not match what I see on the screen. Thanks for your input.

I don't understand Mac's anymore. All the Adobe software used to be exclusive mac programs but now they run under windows. Why Spend More $$$ when you could use that money alone to also buy the software? I've just installed Windows 7 Pro and its the best thing since Windows XP pro. Stable, Fast, and you don't have to keep buying new versions every year. Hopefully, Win 7 will last a decade like Win XP did.

My system is older but still tweaking my PSD's and CR2's just fine.

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Anyway, any monitor your using can be improved with calibration. I use the Spyder 3 Elite right now but newer versions are out already. IPS monitors are the best, but meh, Unless everyone viewing your photos has IPS screens calibrated, They won't look there best anyway. I calibrate Weekly and my Acer-Asus monitors have been color accurate to our print company.

Your mileage may vary, but IMO, I'd never buy a mac.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 12:01:10 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 01:09:50 PM »
So I'm thinking of getting the next iMac when it comes out. I've seen some post on here of people that use it for a monitor. I guess a few questions.

#1 - I'm currently using an eMachine monitor that I got for like $90 running on a Hackintosh I built. Overall everything works pretty well for what it is but I do realize I need something better 1 - for speed and 2 - for more calibrated coloring. The iMac for around $1200 seems like the best route to go. It'll be 3-4 times faster than my current system and I would assume the display will be much better. The alternative would be to build either a regular windows computer or another hackintosh and buy a nice external monitor. I wouldn't want to spend quite as much if I went this route as it's more work on my part and it has its faults (system not monitor). All that to say, would the iMac be equal to or better than what I could get otherwise for say $900-$1000?

#2 - If I do go with an iMac, I've read that the display panels are high quality but the profile they're setup with is not accurate so I will need to calibrate the display. I have two options here. Either 1 - Buy a calibrator in the $150 to $200 range or 2 - rent the colormunki from lensrentals. I guess this comes down to, can I get something in the $150 to $200 price range that will get me pretty close color wise or do I need something higher end like the colormunki. If I did rent the colormunki, how often do I need to calibrate my monitor? Would once a year be enough or how often are we talking? I like that the colormunki can also calibrate printers as well since I have a Canon iP4920 that tends to not match what I see on the screen. Thanks for your input.

I don't understand Mac's anymore. All the Adobe software used to be exclusive mac programs but now they run under windows. Why Spend More $$$ when you could use that money alone to also buy the software? I've just installed Windows 7 Pro and its the best thing since Windows XP pro. Stable, Fast, and you don't have to keep buying new versions every year. Hopefully, Win 7 will last a decade like Win XP did.

My system is older but still tweaking my PSD's and CR2's just fine.

Intel E6600 - OC'ed to 2.93ghz
Nvidia GTS 8800 - 640MB ram
4GB of 667mhz DDR2 RAM
El Cheapo Motherboard - Biostar
JBOD hard disk's

Anyway, any monitor your using can be improved with calibration. I use the Spyder 3 Elite right now but newer versions are out already. IPS monitors are the best, but meh, Unless everyone viewing your photos has IPS screens calibrated, They won't look there best anyway. I calibrate Weekly and my Acer-Asus monitors have been color accurate to our print company.

Your mileage may vary, but IMO, I'd never buy a mac.

+1.
Couldn't agree more. Apple products have gotten so expensive it makes it harder and harder to justify. Don't get me wrong I work on an iMac every day at work because the company is happy to spend the cash, but at home I recently re-built my tower for less than £300. That's a new mobo, graphics card, 4GB of memory, intel core i3 2100 3.1 ghz processor and another 500Gb harddrive. And as mentioned above, Win7 is as good if not better than XPpro, which I too used for about a decade. The rest of the money I saved on PC hardware went towards my 5DMkII.

Not bashing Apple here, but they most certainly do not do value-for-money.
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brianleighty

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 01:14:50 PM »
@RLPhoto, one other thing that factors into this is I also do a fare bit of video editing as well which I use Final Cut. Hence my need for a machine running OSX. I'm not trying to make this into a OSX vs Windows thread but there are definitely advantages of OSX over Windows 7. The hardware is definitely more expensive but my thought with the iMac is the fact that it has a quality display that made it a better value than a different Mac. I just did a quick calculation of building my own computer and I'm looking at somewhere between $700-$800 including a license for Windows Home Premium. That means I have to build it and if there's any issue I have to solve those. If I want to run OSX then it's even more of a hassle and most likely at least one piece of hardware won't function exactly right. Not only that but now I have a big tower taking up room and most likely using more power than the iMac would. Thus I would like to at least save $200-$300 off of an iMac for the inconvience so I guess the real question is, does a $200 to $300 display beat the quality of iMac display?
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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 01:24:51 PM »
@RLPhoto, one other thing that factors into this is I also do a fare bit of video editing as well which I use Final Cut. Hence my need for a machine running OSX. I'm not trying to make this into a OSX vs Windows thread but there are definitely advantages of OSX over Windows 7. The hardware is definitely more expensive but my thought with the iMac is the fact that it has a quality display that made it a better value than a different Mac. I just did a quick calculation of building my own computer and I'm looking at somewhere between $700-$800 including a license for Windows Home Premium. That means I have to build it and if there's any issue I have to solve those. If I want to run OSX then it's even more of a hassle and most likely at least one piece of hardware won't function exactly right. Not only that but now I have a big tower taking up room and most likely using more power than the iMac would. Thus I would like to at least save $200-$300 off of an iMac for the inconvience so I guess the real question is, does a $200 to $300 display beat the quality of iMac display?

You can purchase a Good Dell IPS monitor for around 300$ and won't be tied into proprietory hardware.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824260047

As for video editing, If you like FCP then stick to it but don't believe that its the only option. AVID and CS5 Premiere pro run on Win Machines and are just as powerful. Windows software has been re-nouned for its longevity, just look at CS2. I know many designers that can't upgrade because they'd need a New OSX Software which they're computers can't run and so they'd have to purchase all new machines! That'd be over 12 New mac's in one company's case. I'm still cruzing my CS3 software right now.  8)

Towers allow better cooling than the Sandwiched, laptop esque IMac. We have a few still here at the office I work at and they do get very hot.

Another Point is Murphys Law, and Mac parts are MUCH MUCH more expensive.

Its your call, all I'm pointing out is the Facts and nothing more.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 01:28:32 PM by RLPhoto »

brianleighty

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 01:38:49 PM »
+1.
Couldn't agree more. Apple products have gotten so expensive it makes it harder and harder to justify. Don't get me wrong I work on an iMac every day at work because the company is happy to spend the cash, but at home I recently re-built my tower for less than £300. That's a new mobo, graphics card, 4GB of memory, intel core i3 2100 3.1 ghz processor and another 500Gb harddrive. And as mentioned above, Win7 is as good if not better than XPpro, which I too used for about a decade. The rest of the money I saved on PC hardware went towards my 5DMkII.

Not bashing Apple here, but they most certainly do not do value-for-money.
I think that's the main place where a Windows PC has advantages. You mentioned UPGRADING your tower vs building a new one. If you don't have buy all the parts and can reuse what you have then I agree using a PC can be very tempting. You mention pounds as well so I assume you're in the UK? In this case the price for Apple products is higher than it is for me in the states. For what you paid for your upgrade you could almost buy a mac mini in the states which is pretty comparable to what you listed.
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brianleighty

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 01:42:02 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion RLPhoto. I guess I'm little ticked off by Dell since the display on my Studio Laptop by them is AWEFUL. Granted totally different market but still. The worst part is the tech support that tell me it's normal for the display to occasionally go extremely dark and then go so bright that it blows out everything on the screen. I have heard a lot of people using Dell's monitors. Anybody have any comments on how the iMac's display compares to RLPhoto's suggestion? It does look like that Dell monitor only has 6 bit panels while the iMac has an 8 bit panel but I don't really know too much.
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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 01:42:02 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 01:54:15 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion RLPhoto. I guess I'm little ticked off by Dell since the display on my Studio Laptop by them is AWEFUL. Granted totally different market but still. The worst part is the tech support that tell me it's normal for the display to occasionally go extremely dark and then go so bright that it blows out everything on the screen. I have heard a lot of people using Dell's monitors. Anybody have any comments on how the iMac's display compares to RLPhoto's suggestion? It does look like that Dell monitor only has 6 bit panels while the iMac has an 8 bit panel but I don't really know too much.

I think LG or Samsung make the displays for apple, but they also make the displays for the Dell Ultrasharps. ::) Plus the ultrasharps do turn 180 Degrees for Digital Art and Editing.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 01:57:34 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 02:09:12 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion RLPhoto. I guess I'm little ticked off by Dell since the display on my Studio Laptop by them is AWEFUL. Granted totally different market but still. The worst part is the tech support that tell me it's normal for the display to occasionally go extremely dark and then go so bright that it blows out everything on the screen. I have heard a lot of people using Dell's monitors. Anybody have any comments on how the iMac's display compares to RLPhoto's suggestion? It does look like that Dell monitor only has 6 bit panels while the iMac has an 8 bit panel but I don't really know too much.

I think LG or Samsung make the displays for apple, but they also make the displays for the Dell Ultrasharps. ::) Plus the ultrasharps do turn 180 Degrees for Digital Art and Editing.

Yeah it'd be interesting to find out if they were the same panel. If I could find a display around $300 that is comparable to the iMac's then it might be worth me upgrading my hackintosh instead but I just don't have enough information right now.
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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 11:51:21 AM »
+1.
Couldn't agree more. Apple products have gotten so expensive it makes it harder and harder to justify. Don't get me wrong I work on an iMac every day at work because the company is happy to spend the cash, but at home I recently re-built my tower for less than £300. That's a new mobo, graphics card, 4GB of memory, intel core i3 2100 3.1 ghz processor and another 500Gb harddrive. And as mentioned above, Win7 is as good if not better than XPpro, which I too used for about a decade. The rest of the money I saved on PC hardware went towards my 5DMkII.

Not bashing Apple here, but they most certainly do not do value-for-money.
I think that's the main place where a Windows PC has advantages. You mentioned UPGRADING your tower vs building a new one. If you don't have buy all the parts and can reuse what you have then I agree using a PC can be very tempting. You mention pounds as well so I assume you're in the UK? In this case the price for Apple products is higher than it is for me in the states. For what you paid for your upgrade you could almost buy a mac mini in the states which is pretty comparable to what you listed.

Yes you're right - I was upgrading, so monitor, keyboard, wacom tablet, even the tower casing, power supply and old hdds stayed the same. And indeed I often forget that we here in rip-off britain are asked to spend even more on Apple goods...   :'(
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brianleighty

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 01:02:56 PM »
So I ended up going with another hackintosh. After reading how hard it is to open up the new iMacs and the fact that the 21" doesn't even have a ram slot, I feel more comfortable going this route. I may still get one eventually but for now this is much cheaper. I upgraded the cpu and motherboard for $250 and it's a faster processor than the iMac has. I also went ahead and bought a 128 GB Samsung SSD and setup a Fusion Drive last night. This has been the easiest hackintosh I've had to build. Very happy with it. Just thought I'd share in case any one is in the same position.
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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 01:07:31 PM »
I ♥ Win 7 Pro.  :|

brianleighty

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 01:14:17 PM »
I ♥ Win 7 Pro.  :|
Eh! Windows 7 is alright. Far from great. Windows 8 looks to be aweful. I've been running 10.6 up to this point and am really happy with some of the new things in 10.8. Mountain Lion feels like a much more polished product than Windows 7
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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 01:14:17 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 01:21:35 PM »
I ♥ Win 7 Pro.  :|
Eh! Windows 7 is alright. Far from great. Windows 8 looks to be aweful. I've been running 10.6 up to this point and am really happy with some of the new things in 10.8. Mountain Lion feels like a much more polished product than Windows 7

Meh. I know win 7 pro can easily be another 10 year product like XP pro. I don't feel like buying OS's every year either.

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Re: iMac As Display / Calibration
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 01:21:35 PM »